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On a mission for my Grandfather


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#1 DaveP

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 05:28 PM

Hello all. My name is Dave. I'm from just north of Baltimore living in Joppa, MD. I am doing some research on my grandfather, and I need to find out if he is eligible for the Bronze Star. He passed away in 1977 when I was 7 so I never had an opportunity to speak with him about his service. Over the past couple of years I have slowly collected his memorabilia from my mother and grandmother who are both still alive; however, he didn't speak much about his time in the war with them. They know some things, but not enough to quench my thirst. He was with the 397th Infantry Regiment, Company B. His name was PFC Edgar R Harper. He arrived in Europe 20 Oct 1944 and was seriously wounded on 8 Dec 1944. He was shot in the chest. He survived and was honorably discharged on 7 Sept 1945.

Here is what really has me intrigued. On his dress jacket that I just had framed are 3 ribbons, the Combat Infantry Badge and Driver's Badge. It came to my attention that those that had The CIB were retroactively eligible for the Bronze Star. He does not have the Bronze Star. I would like for him to be awarded this IF it is deserved. I've asked Brandon Wiegand through emails about my grandfather and he has been helpful to me in answering some questions, but his answers have raised others. Brandon tells me that my grandfather is not among the list from the 397th that received the CIB. In addition, he is not cited on the 100th Infantry Division General Orders either. I have little experience in this subject matter, so I am confused at these facts from Brandon. I have personally seen his name under the 100thww2.org/honrol/397wia.html site. I also have a letter from Joe Collie (Chairman of the 397th Endowment Committee) of the 397th from 1994 asking my grandfather to attend an upcoming reunion. In the letter Mr Collie, writes that he saw my grandfather for the last time reaching the top of a hill just before he was hit (shot). If anyone knows how to get in touch with Joe Collie, I would love to speak or write him.

My grandfather's separation report speaks of his Driver's Badge, Purple Heart and his European African Middle Eastern Theatre Medal, but no CIB. Yet he proudly wore this badge on his jacket, and had a smaller one that I have framed with his Purple Heart. I guess my questions are...
1. Is it common for someone to be missing from the regiment's general orders as it appears my grandfather does?
2. Is it common for someone to have the CIB and not be cited for it. (at least that I can verify to this point)?
3. If he earned the CIB, and I have no other reason to believe otherwise since he has it, will it be hard for me to get The Bronze Star for him?

Thanks for reading. Sorry if this was too rambling, but this has recently turned into something I want to see to the finish and resolve for my grandfather and me personally.

Dave

#2 Spitfire_XIV

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:40 PM

Hello there Dave and welcome to the forum.

#3 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 01:38 AM

Something you may want to look into is if his CIB was awarded by another unit. The 397th was attached to the 45th Infantry Division on two occasions: 6 Nov 44 - 9 Nov 44 and again from 28 Nov 44 to 5 Dec 44. (See: Detachments for 100th Infantry Division)

Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


halvorsonpto129ir37id3.jpg

PFC Glenn W. Halvorson

bannereto776tdv2.png

PFC Norman L. Halvorson


#4 LRusso216

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 02:06 AM

Welcome to the forum, Dave. My father also was awarded the CIB, although I can find no mention of this in reports I have seen. Because he had the CIB he was awarded a Bronze Star, per General Marshall. He was not aware of it (nor was I) until he received all of his medals in the late 80s. Keep looking and I'm sure you will reach a satisfactory end. If not already done, have your grandmother request his records, either by following the steps outlined here http://www.ww2f.com/...el-records.html or by going directly to NARA here Veterans' Service Records.

Let us know how you make out, or if you need our help for anything.

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Lou


#5 DaveP

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 01:33 PM

Thanks LRusso216 TD-Tommy776. I will continue to look, and I am requesting all of his records. This is the first I've heard that the 397th was attached to the 45th infantry. I'm new to this research so I'm learning new things all the time. Thanks again.

#6 The_Historian

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 02:14 PM

Welcome to the forums!
Regards,

Gordon

#7 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:56 PM

Please keep us informed as to your progress. We're curious folks here. ;)

Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


halvorsonpto129ir37id3.jpg

PFC Glenn W. Halvorson

bannereto776tdv2.png

PFC Norman L. Halvorson


#8 Earthican

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 01:16 PM

It is still possible that it was a mistake that his name did not appear on Orders and his separation document. If you have good documentation that he was assigned to an infantry regiment through a period of combat it should not be a problem to get his CIB and Bronze Star confirmed.

Documentation might include his name on a company roster in combat or maybe even letters addressed from his unit in combat.

I do not know how difficult this process might be. I imagine it would be less difficult than getting an award upgraded.

#9 DaveP

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 07:34 PM

Update: I have an email from Joe Collie who served with my grandfather; fought with my grandfather. He saw my grandfather get hit, and described it to me like it was yesterday for him. He believes and feels that my grandfather served admirably and deserves the Bronze Star. I have requested all of my grandfathers records. Unfortunately it could take up to three months to receive them, but I'm feeling confident.

#10 693FA

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 05:26 AM

Welcome Dave looks like a good start so far....enjoy the Forum!!!
Regards,
Clint

#11 karenlalaniz

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:05 PM

Isn't it interesting how these things just grab you and don't let go. I did a similar search for my father, who is almost 91 now. It's quite a process. I'd just like to add that when you fill out the forms, put a check mark in the box to have replacement medals sent to you. This advice was given to me by a career naval officer. The reason is this; Even if you believe you have all the original medals, you might not. And when you get the medals, they will give you a clue as to where he was and so forth.

I wish you the best in your quest. It's an honorable thing you're doing! ~Karen
http://s201.photobucket.com/albums/aa223/karenlalaniz/?action=view¤t=BtCwithAlaniz.jpgMy memoir, BREAKING THE CODE: a Father's Secret, a Daughter's Journey, and the Question That Changed Everything is about my father, a WWII veteran who began having PTSD more than 50-years after the war, and my quest to find out why.



#12 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:51 PM

That's very good advice, Karen. Thanks for sharing it.

Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


halvorsonpto129ir37id3.jpg

PFC Glenn W. Halvorson

bannereto776tdv2.png

PFC Norman L. Halvorson


#13 DaveP

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 10:02 PM

Thanks Karen. It's been interesting and fun. I've been able to correspond w/ two guys in my grandfather's regiment. Both are very sharp and computer saavy. I filled out paper work on line through the evet site. I was then mailed paperwork to fill out. Because of the fire, much of the records were lost. I filled out the paperwork w/ my mother and grandmother's help. I'm asking for as much information as possible - medals, medical records. I want as much as they have to give me.

Time to sit back and wait - I read it may take up to six months; hopefully it doesn't take that long. Patience is a virtue. In the meantime, I google search and read. Luckily the 100th division, 397th regiment has a lot of information on line. If anyone is interested and has the time, google the 100th. Great stories and pretty detailed information out there.

#14 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 01:51 AM

You are right there, Dave. Those looking to research the 100th and associated units, even supporting units that were temporarily attached, can find a lot of useful information relatively easily.

Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


halvorsonpto129ir37id3.jpg

PFC Glenn W. Halvorson

bannereto776tdv2.png

PFC Norman L. Halvorson


#15 Big_Al

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:49 PM

Isn't it interesting how these things just grab you and don't let go. I did a similar search for my father, who is almost 91 now. It's quite a process. I'd just like to add that when you fill out the forms, put a check mark in the box to have replacement medals sent to you. This advice was given to me by a career naval officer. The reason is this; Even if you believe you have all the original medals, you might not. And when you get the medals, they will give you a clue as to where he was and so forth.

I wish you the best in your quest. It's an honorable thing you're doing! ~Karen

Good advice, Karen. Twenty years ago I requested a replacement set of medals, and lo and behold, included were two that were not on my DD214 - the Army Good Conduct medal and a unit award of the RVN Cross Of Gallantry.
The Army does make mistakes, Dave, maybe included in the replacement set will be the CIB.
Good luck on your quest. Among Army Dog Faces, the CIB is very prestigious.

#16 Mike G

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:15 AM

DAve P, that is awesome. Your grandfather would be proud of you. Thanks for telling this. I can't even sleep at night thinking about it...lol Best of luck!

#17 DaveP

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:03 PM

I received a letter from the NPRC informing me that my grandfather's records were destroyed in the 1973 fire. I called the gentleman that wrote me from there and I explained my situation. Wanting my grandfather to be awarded the Bronze Star - He has the CIB, but this medal is not noted on his discharge paperwork for some reason. How can I get him the Bronze Star w/out proof of earning the CIB?

He suggested I fill out a DD149 - Application for Correction of Military Record. Anyone w/ an opinion on this as a next step? I've considered hiring a researcher at $30 an hour to try and research first. I'm wondering if he could have been awarded the CIB after he was wounded and separated from the 397th Regiment? He spent time at Camp Pickett hospital center in Virginia (discharged from here also) and Station Hospital, Camp Kilmer, NJ. I don't know where he was treated in Europe. Would Camp Pickett or Camp Kilmer have any records of my grandfather's stay?

Any advice appreciated.

#18 Buten42

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:19 PM

DaveP,
The NPRC have alternate ways to learn what awards were given using other records. Like every record in the Army, everything was written with copies going to different places. Morning reports and unit General Orders have records of awards. Before you can ask for a correction of records you need proof that what you are asking is correct and warrented. In your case, you need to know he was awarded the CIB--the BS comes automatically. You can't ask them to award the CIB unless you have proof he met the criteria. I believe this is a dead end.

Fill out a form 180 and just ask for a replacement set of medals. You need to be next of kin, so have your mother/father sign the form. Next of kin are parents, siblings, unmarried spose, or son/daughter.

They will use the alternate sources to figure out what he was awarded and send them--they are still free to next of kin.

Worth a try--good luck,
Dave
War is sweet to those who have never experienced it.
Latin Proverb




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